Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category

IMG_9486

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” ~Buddha

Read Full Post »

Winter.  Rounding out the year.  I have a moment to sit, still myself, and breathe the deepest breath of the year.  We can even loosen up a little bit.  The time I have had since Christmas has been busy, like most, but I am also taking the time to reorganize, dust, purge, and slowly open my eyes up to a new time for us next year.  But first I want to re-cap the past couple months as we finished entering our stories and teachings into our Main Lesson Books for Fourth and Second.

IMG_8874

We did a lot of nature scavenging, and I had dirty floors constantly.  Such is life, and the season in which I am in.

IMG_8878

Here’s our collection of nature to send to our Nature Pal in California.  We dipped some nature in beeswax, painted a wood apple, made beeswax tea lights, and sent a little mouse finger puppet along.  We also had a bird seed gift wrapped as a pumpkin to give too.

FullSizeRender

The light of day began to dim, and so we made our lanterns and walked with friends.

IMG_8867

Music filled our ears, as Little Fox, Second Grade, practiced and accomplished his semester recital.

IMG_8846

We warmed our hands with handwork.  Little Eagle, 4th grade, sewed mama a little needle book. This was a craft from September Happy Hedgehog.  I try to pace our handwork, so it stays enjoyable.

IMG_8987

Little Fox begged to make outfits for our Lantern Carriers.

IMG_8975

There was nothing more enjoyable than getting out into the woods with my family for a weekend. We visited Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge, Geological Area.  My buzzword for the year was Connect, and there is no better place than nature.

We are currently alternating rest with work.  I have begun to tackle that urge to clear and clean, organize, and dream.  We are having an unusual late fall and early winter, with lots of rain and warm days.  I can’t help but appreciate how mild the season has been, which can be a help to us this year.  No snow yet.

Here comes 2016!!

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

IMG_8516

IMG_8550

IMG_8551

IMG_8552

IMG_8559

IMG_8562

 

Handwork on Planning Day (Saturday) was inspired by a really slow internet connection.  I was supposed to be watching and absorbing awesomeness from Robyn and Brian Wolfe on Waldorfish. I checked out the replay on Form Drawing and Temperaments, but because of my rural connection and the overcast rainy weather it took a REALLY long time to watch.  But, I was committed.  While I waited for my computer to load, like the olden days I picked up a project.  A couple weeks ago I had decided to pull together an Autumn Fairy.  Right away I felt I had made the head too small, and wasn’t happy with the colors.  I had to take a break and order more orange roving before moving forward.  Doing and being is done in layers over here, and time does not exist.  But here we are, October 2015.  I’m nostalgic about the past, I have good feelings about the future, and here I Am Now.  Working bit by bit.  Learning.  Grounding into the moment, so that we all don’t slip away with our thoughts.  We are holding down the Home this week as Papa Bear prepares for a Design Show next weekend. AND, our third born son turns 2!  Not only is it Harvest Season, but it is also the season of changing leaves and falling leaves.  What will we let fall away…

So, I followed the Happy Hedgehog post demonstrating the Spring fairy.  Fairy making is enjoyable. They don’t take overly long, and the result is a pleasing, unique energy.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me here.

Read Full Post »

March has come in like a lion with a huge snowstorm bringing more than a foot of snow, and now the spring thaw has begun 10 days into the month.  Rain has been pouring down all day, the yard is flooded as the earth cannot swallow up the water fast enough.

We put a new bird feeder up on the outside of our living room window, during the snow storm.  It has been such a treat to watch woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays and all the pretty birds that cohabitate in our yard, but a little more up close and personal.  We have always been avid bird watchers, journaling about what we see, blogging about what we observe and pondering over their cycle with the seasons.

Little Eagle has a big birthday coming up.  He is hitting the double digits.  We were so inspired by our bird friends that we decided to make bird seed ornaments as birthday favors.  Little Eagle will give them out to friends at church, and cousins. We are not having a formal birthday party with his friends this year, because he had a big one last year.  We decided as a family that each child gets to rotate having a big party.  Each child gets a big party once every two years, until Cedar is older, then it will be every three years to include him.  The amount of money, planning and time is taken into account, otherwise we gather as a family.

I got a recipe for bird seed ornaments off of Pinterest.  There are many more recipes to choose from, if this one doesn’t suit you.

3/4 cup flour
1 pack of gelatin
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup water
4 cups of bird seed

Make sure you spray the cookie cutters with cooking spray.  This is imperative. I did a test batch and basically ruined the shapes, because they did not pop out of the cutter easily.  Then I laid them out on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  The recipe makes about 8 ornaments.  So far I have made 17 successful ornaments. The rest I will use here at the house.

Mixing up bird seed for ornaments

When it was all mixed together I packed a handfull into the cutter and pressed from both sides filling it all in.  Then I placed it on the wax paper and pressed the top down.  With the test batch I used a straw to make holes in the ornaments for string, but decided not to do that with the other batches.  I will take embroider floss or hemp and just wrap them to hang.
ornament molds and curing
Here is a picture of the ornaments curing.  The shamrock is delicate and won’t make it, so I added it to our home stash.  The Easter egg, bunny, butterfly, flower and star works out.  If you are in a pinch use ball jar lids!

To make tags I used a unique paint brush and made a pretty design on watercolor paper, both sides.  Next I cut out shapes, punched holes and wrote “Little Eagle turns 10!”  This will slide right on the string to hang them.

This craft takes a little planning and doing, very little money and it is a great sensory experience packing the cookie cutters with bird seed.  You get to take a sneek peak early, because this mama has to plan with all the busyness of spring. Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

The irony is we haven’t officially begun Fourth Grade, until Easter.  We school year round and begin anew with the Spring.  But leave it to my oldest child to speed ahead and be inspired.  As we wrapped up the Third Grade year with review and making sure our Main Lessons Books were looking good, I would talk with Little Eagle about Norse Myths and the Vikings.  He knew I was studying and preparing to teach him.  I did tell him that upon meditation I would like for him to spend some time in the wood shop with dad creating tools.  I knew he was interested in tool-making, so it makes sense to gear it toward the Vikings and Norse Mythology, right!

Little did I know my husband also thought it was time that one boy came with him, on a weekday.  Each week the older two boys will take turns in the shop on a business day.  This means they will get to spend time one-on-one making things. They may also run errands with Papa to one of our many clients, or interior designers. Otherwise, it is a chance to spend time with dad in the shop creating.

The first project Little Eagle did was an upcycled knife, with a wooden handle. He did the research and wood burned a Viking style W on the handle.  The wood is purple heart, with a grapeseed oil finish, and a wood plug holding the metal and wood together.  He also put together a killer Viking axe, all wood.  I had to wait until the next day to see it, because he left it at the shop overnight, so the glue could dry.  Here it is.  I think Fourth Grade might be A LITTLE fun.  I’ll keep you informed.

Viking Axe

Read Full Post »

I have spent a lot of time writing on many subjects lately, especially spirituality and homeschool, as it is a thread that weaves through the tapestry of my life. The other day I had an opportunity to give to my boy’s choir teacher, because it was her birthday, so I wanted to do a little post about Handwork.  A nice change.

I enjoy knitting, though I am not a professional, nor can I read patterns well, not yet anyway I’m young still.  I love to sew, by hand and machine.  I can probably sew better than I can knit.  Also, I have been trying to work more with roving and felt and had my eye on a Pinterest project.  Here’s a screenshot.

Pinterest felting project

Isn’t it a beauty!  I thought I could make this little felt picture quick enough to gift the next day.  I began around dinner and was done by 10pm. That included eating dinner, and caring for the children.

Getting started with felt

The first thing I did was lay out some undyed grey roving, and shape it into a circle. Then I began the background by adding two layers, upper and lower.  I use special spiral needles from Cedar Ring Circle Co op.

Layering the roving

It didn’t take long to get the two layers down and then I worked on the white candle next and learned a little something.  It is easier to add roving as you go. I added a little too much, but I was able to pull it apart and rework it.  I added the accent colors just like the example above and here it is, but I am not finished yet.

IMG_5981

Next needs to come the solid felt backing, so that I could make this a wall hanging. I happen to have a full sheet of orange, so thankfully that worked.  Be careful when sewing on the backing not to mess up the felted picture.  It is delicate.  I did this part of the process the very next morning after making the scene.

sewing on the felt backing

I added an embroider floss cord on the back and viola!  Here’s the final picture below.  I feel satisfied with my handwork, and we had a lovely gift for the boy’s choir teacher.  She volunteers each week at the church and it is important for my boy’s to practice reciprocity, to a patient and caring teacher.  This was fun.

Candlelight

Feel free to find this project on my Felting Board.

And you can locate me over on Instagram where I post my projects a bit more.

Read Full Post »

Today is Ash Wednesday, and it has been snowing!  There are already piles of snow outside of my door and I have been homebound since Sunday.  It was slick this morning and my husband got the 4×4 stuck long enough to miss a couple hours of work.  We usually go to Wednesday Evening Fellowship for Children’s Choir, dinner and a service, but everything is cancelled.  I am sad about missing today’s service, because it is Ash Wednesday and I felt the need to have a more reverent experience with our community.  However, it gave us opportunity to bring that reverence into our experience at home.

When we gathered for the morning at the table I smudged the children’s foreheads with white sage ash, because that is all we had on hand.  Early on I began weaving a little bracelet of purple hemp cotton to remind us of what we wish to achieve.

IMG_5916

In the weeks leading up to Lent Creator began to whisper to me what things our family needed to grow.  On my homeschool path there are exercises for each day of the week to help guide us to walk in a good way.  They are called Steiner exercises, by Rudolph Steiner.  Here is the exercise I chose to acknowledge and have us work through as a family, specifically for Lent.

 

Right-Word
(usually for Monday)

Only serious, meaningful speech must leave the lips of those who strive for higher development.

All talk for the sake of talking – to pass time, for example – is harmful.

Avoid the usual sort of conversation that involves jumbled, simultaneous cross-talk.

This does not mean you should cut yourself off from interacting with others.

Especially in such interactions with others, your speech should gradually become increasingly meaningful.

 

We aren’t giving something up this lent so much as hoping to gain higher development.  To help us there are several exercises we will utilize, because we humans need a lot of help, without shame.  We have a special candle that was gifted to us made of beeswax.  The exercise is called Silent Candle.  When we light this particular candle, we become Silent, several times each day.  The exercise is intuitive, and important to practice because during the time of preparation I hope to quiet myself.  It is hard to ((hear)) Creator speak when we are noisy inside and out.

Silent Candle

To signify our movement toward a quieter 40 days I had my oldest boy write ALLELUJAH in cursive on a piece of purple construction paper and decorate it, then tie it with twine in a scroll.  We placed it on our Seasonal table to sit till Easter when we can unroll it and proclaim ALLELUJAH, HE HAS RISEN!

FullSizeRender

We added a purple silk to signify the liturgical season, along with our Icon post card of Jesus and Mother Mary, and our recent Saint Brigid cross and doll.  We have a few rocks and stones, as well as a robin’s egg and two real quail eggs gifted to me. I cooked the yolks, but emptied them by making a pin hole and blowing them out. The egg being a symbol for Easter and what is to come.

This season is important to me as a year-round home schooling mama, because it is a time to prepare for our new beginnings.  Just as we Remember Jesus and the 12 stations of the cross, we also walk our own path.  We prepare to be reborn, and begin a new year.  In my time of quieting down I am deep into reading my curriculum and meditating on my children and what they need for this upcoming year of learning. Winter is a time for Planning and Dreaming.  It just seems right, so it is lovely to coincide with my school planning.

We are always in a fluctuating state of giving and receiving around here.  We take time to rest and receive and we take time to give to others.  During this time we will be doing little things to uplift each other.  Our homeschool consultant calls chores “home blessings,” which I like because when we do for our family, it is good for the whole.  A blessing indeed.  We will take time to choose from a small bowl of laminted blessing cards a couple times a day to bless our family and practice giving.  Lent is not so much about being “religious” to me as it is a time to practice developing ourselves and seeking to walk this earth in a good way.  There is no better way than giving, which is an outward of expression of the fullness we feel inside, because G-d has filled our cup.

Here’s my Pinterest Lent board if you need inspiration.  If you would like all the Steiner exercises of the week, then see my Pinterest board, Planning, Cleaning and Organizing.

Read Full Post »

Welcome to Nurturing Spirit.  My name is Nichole and I am a 36 year old mother of three boys.  I live in rural Kentucky, on four acres of sacred pasture.  We have mostly homeschooled and enjoy learning in an environment that takes us all into consideration.  Light, touch, feel, hear, smell…it all matters to us.  Being present and meeting myself where I am is prevelant to all of us walking in a good way.  Atmosphere is conducive to learning.  We all have filters and storylines, but somehow you’ve led yourself to this blog post.  If you are new to homeschooling I want to say to you, save yourself.  Save yourself from worry.  Invoke your Maker and Angels to guide you.  Have faith.  Don’t worry, each day if you wake and engage your will and rhythm you will make it to the end of the day and you might just feel a sense of purpose, accomplishment and contentment.  If you are not new to this lifestyle I’ll say it’s possible you understand the spiritual mundane.  Or maybe you haven’t made the connection yet.  God is present in every moment.  Or that is what I choose to believe.  So if that is the case, then I am being guided and I do not need to worry.  It’s me here in this earthly experience gathering materials to make a birthday crown.  It’s creator coming through to make a chalk drawing of a fairy tale.  It’s Nichole who nurses the baby and breathes and listens to the sounds of the house.  This is where I am.  Right now.

Some of my dreams, I have a few, are being illuminated to me by the dew on the web of life, by the light of the moon.  I want to learn to storytell.  I want to become one who draws.  I want to knit our own wash rags.  I want to become a Master Teacher to my children.  I want the days to carry me with the momentum of my own sweat and struggle and stretch and happiness.  For me to do this I invoke the medicine of turtle.  Slow and steady.  It’s ok. Don’t worry.  Today make your soup Woman.  Wash your sheets.  Feed and play with the baby.  Love your man.  Grab a moment to read a chapter of the book your are studying Mama.  Be right there with your priorities.  Time has changed so much since I became a Mother.  Do your work now for later also.  Plant those seeds when it’s the season to do so.  Tend each day those dream seeds.  Harvest and Rest.  Then spring forth again.

Meet yourself where you are in life.

Give yourself permission to do things in a good way.  Find the path of peace.  Work hard everyday, rest well, eat enough and love deeply.  Make connections.  Hug often.  Light candles for your meals.  See the changes of those trees each year and how they change and grow.  Then look in the mirror occasionally and See yourself do the same.

I came to waldorf more fully when my kids were entering Kindy, although I had the seed planted in my heart a few years earlier.  You see?  So it is new for me to have a newborn with all the thoughts and considerations of this lifestyle and more mature, healed Self.  Things in many ways are easier, and there are new challenges.  I know I have been doing the work.  I meet myself everyday.  Each day I give new permission to Be who I am and that is settling.  Grounding.  Accepting.

The future seems exciting and full of possibility.  Reality is sometimes different from how I imagine things going, but I hold so much love for my family and my path, that Gratitude prevails.  I believe in being postive.  I believe in intention.  I believe we manifest what we think over and over.  I belive in comedy!

Well, for now I am happy to be writing.  That is where I am meeting myself on this good day, with my baby straddled across my lap trying to delete my draft.  I’ve got to do this for myself.  Occasionally paint pictures of my life with words and feeling.  It’s who I am.  It is who Creator wants to reflect to you.

What is your Creation story?

Read Full Post »

Good morning folks.  My post today is about big love, not about the holiday and consuming.  I am also not trying to change anyone’s mind here.  I just want to tell a story.

From my understanding Saint Valentine, the man, became a Saint because he had big love for his Creator.  In those days, the King told all his Knights they could not marry.  Marriage is a holy sacrament to Christians.  Marriage is considered an outer act of an inner decision to merge with your partner.  To unionize two energies.  Many people in these times also practice the marriage of their own energies, thus the inner spiritual act of marriage with oneself.

The King did not want the Knights to marry, so they would be dedicated and serve him.  Valentine, a priest, felt the King’s authority overshadowed God’s sacrament of marriage for all.  So Valentine spent much of his time marrying these Knight’s to their loved ones in secret, till the day came where he was arrested and brought to the Tower.  During Valentine’s stay until his death, he wrote many letters to loved ones signing “Your Valentine.”  The period in which Valentine lived was considered dark days in humanity for good reasons.  The veil of consciousness was begining to recede and draw us closer to Creator out of the watery infancy of the human race.  Today things are much better energetically, but we still have a ways to go concerning Unity consciousness and equality for not just humans, but all who reside on Mother Earth.

For me and my translation of this day I see a chance to raise my vibration.  And also an opportunity to think about how I show love for my Creator.  How do I show Big Love?  How do I Love in the face of authority?  There are many thoughts, but few true answers.  Compassion is one and patience is another.  Valentine chose to be true to his beliefs and serve.  So I will serve as well by raising my vibration and Being for my children, in my own backyard.  Let me not leave out that we study the ascended masters, the saints and all the religions.  All with intention to evolve and learn from the past, so that my Now will be more like Heaven.

Today will culminate a week spent making and giving home made items to those we love and passing along the good vibration with a hug and a smile.  Nothing mass consumed.  Everything with intention.  And one extra symbol of love in this home to remind us of our love and union.  Our Big Love.  Spirit Manifest.  The children.

Love to you.

xoxo

Read Full Post »

As I prepare ahead to school our children I have been reading all the notes my mentor Melisa Nielsen of Waldorf Essentials wrote, namely in the Handwork section.  She quotes Patricia Livingston’s book, Will-Developed Intelligence:  Handwork and Practical Art in the Waldorf School:

“The hands are a unique and beautiful part of the human being, and they bring us important, far-reaching experiences.  Therefore as teachers we must try to help the children become aware of their hands and of the great gifts they bestow on themselves and on others.  Their hands need to become skillful, sensitive, and strong so that they can accomplish many deeds.  Blind people get to know the world through their hands, but most people are unaware of the knowledge that can be gained when the hands are used in useful and sensitive ways.  Think of art and music!  Think of what physical work and daily tasks teach us.  Think of a handshake and what it tells us about another person.  We want the children to make things they love and enjoy and to work skillfully, always increasing their artistry.  Handwork should be relaxing and fun, and at the same time productive, involving strong will activity.  Nothing happens if you don’t use your hands and get to work!”

Somehow within me Spirit begs to be transformed and manifest – winter is inner growth time, like the roots in nature.  SOMEHOW February, a tough time for many home educators in the spiritual mundane, the unseen is hard at work planning and dreaming.  I say take to handwork!  Let balance be kept.  I was reminded very clearly where I am here in winter by beautiful artwork recently.

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

I have all these little creations within me begging to come out, begging to be discerned and transformed.  Like the picture above I close my eyes, but I am not blind.  Information, ideas, designs and healing stream forth through me, through my hands.  Wisdom may come through me and through my limbs to my hands and into the needle through which I sew.   My other handwork, so to speak, is caring for my new beautiful baby boy.  Nursing and holding.  Also, writing comes forth for me and I am trying to honor that creation here in my nurturing space.  Especially the teachings I am to bring forth to the kids in a creative way, such as Language Arts and Math through art. Nonetheless, it is February and I am told by those who reside in the Unseen to relax the thinking mind and allow the hands to become more alive and working.

One does have to become quiet first.  Stillness is active, not passive.  I believe we can transform ourselves, connect both sides of our brain and pass that on down to our children.  Anytime of the year is good for crafting, working and using the hands, but in February, Now, this is my answer.  I am being told to plan and to give creation a chance as my art of life.  Patricia Livingston goes on to say:

Working to transform the materials of the earth fosters inner growth and a sense of well-being in the children.  These lessons support and compliment other subjects in the school, helping to bring balance and wholeness to the education.”

We try to work with natural materials as often as possible.  Wool and cotton for example.  Eco arts and crafts fall naturally to the children when they are outdoors sitting on Mother Earth playing.  Touching, feeling, creating, even destroying is a part of that process.  Many people believe destruction is a very yang perspective, but I see it as a very feminine perspective as well.  The womb, the dark waters of creation, the unseen, the powerful roiling sea within us that wrecks to make way.  The balance must exist.

What illusory boundaries are you destroying in your inner and outer world to make way for the new?  Spring is nigh!  What are you doing with your will?  What are you doing with your hands?  This is all part of the work.  My work as a true Human Being, here at Nurturing Spirit.  Thank you for letting me share.

Follow me on Instagram for Visuals.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: